Professional River Guide
Where did you grow up?
Falls Church, Virginia
Where do you call home now?
Year started at OARS?
What’s the best part of your job?
Even after seeing a river as many times as I have, there are still places along it that I haven’t explored. My favorite day of work is one where we say, “I have no idea where that goes. Let’s go find out!”
Tell us about your favorite rapid, hike or camp and what makes it special
The Thunder River Falls hike in the Grand Canyon is one of my favorite things ever! The hike up along Thunder River in itself has some of the best scenery anywhere, but then you get to the falls where the river is pouring out of the middle of a sheer wall of rock. It looks incredible and sticking your face into the water is just like when you were a kid and would drink from the garden hose, but times a thousand.
Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?
I always carry the two dollar bill that I got as a tip on my very first trip (thanks Brant and Joslin!). At Blossom Bar we always wear a shirt with blossoms on it, and if I can remember, a skirt with blossoms as well. Also; confidence “breaks” are important either before or after scouting a rapid.
What can you not live without on a trip?
Coffee, a small library of Zane Grey books, 50lbs of gear whose only purpose is to be moved from one end of the boat to the other, coffee, my guide purse, back/shoulder massages, my personal stash of hot sauce and coffee.
Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding memory
I’ve gotten very good at using my hand crafted river didgeridoo to make Bigfoot calls. One will show up about 82.5% of the time.
So, no kidding there we were, it was my first paid trip ever and it just happened to be a trip entirely bought out by some folks from New York and Miami. One of the kids on the trip had never experienced the outdoors beyond Central Park and for the first day he had all of the new-to-rafting jitters. He was afraid of the rapids, of getting in the raft, the unseen critters in the woods, and of poison oak. The first night at camp he would run up to me holding clumps of plants asking which one was poison oak. Slowly through the trip we kept nudging him and getting him to leave his comfort zone so that by the end of the trip he was pointing out the different types of flora to the other kids and was rocking through some Class II rapids by himself in a duckie. That was kind of awesome to see.